KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president N Surendran and Subang MP R Sivarasa today demanded the Home Ministry to order the police to refer the remains of R Kumar Rajah for a post-mortem.

The Kajang prison inmate was in excruciating pain for several days and died on Oct 29, but his mother M Sooriakandhi was only informed of his death yesterday.

“We want the green light from the Home Ministry for a post-mortem to be conducted. It is a cover-up by the police, prisons department, magistrate and the hospital,” Sivarasa alleged at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

“There is no excuse for the prisons department to delay informing the family of the death of Kumar Rajah by a day. That is very serious,” he added. Also present was human rights activist S Jayathas who had recently rejoined PKR.

Surendran chipped in: “Home Minister (Hishammuddin Hussein) must answer for this.”

He also accused the police of denying a post-mortem from being conducted and claimed that the Kajang Hospital and a magistrate were working in cahoots with the police.

“There has been no post-mortem. The police deliberately refused to allow for a post-mortem. The Kajang Hospital’s forensics department director has refused to do a post-mortem unless the police agree or a court order is issued,” he said.

Surendran said he would be lodging a report with the Malaysian Medical Council’s disciplinary committee against Kajang hospital for refusing the right to a post-mortem.

HIV claim pooh-poohed

He said that the police and the hospital’s inaction shows a possible cover-up. “Never before has the police and hospital conspired to prevent a post mortem.

“The mother cannot perform the last rites for her son until a post mortem is conducted. The home minister must immediately direct that one be done immediately,” said Surendran.

Sooriakandhi said: “My son told me I could visit him during Deepavali. He was healthy when I visited him last Thursday. At least allow me to perform his final rites.

“I had hopes that he would help me once he is released in February next year. Now they have destroyed my hopes.”

Sivarasa said the Kajang prison authorities claimed that Kumar Rajah died due to HIV, however both Sivarasa and Surendran are doubting it.

“They is no evidence to back that up. The can only be confirmed from a post-mortem,” said Sivarasa.

Surendran claimed that the magistrate did not do his job. “The magistrate saw the body for 15 minutes and said that there was no need for an investigation and no foul play was involved.

‘Hishammuddin a liar’

In a related development, Surendran charged that Hishammuddin lied in parliament yesterday. In a written reply to Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him, Hishammuddin said that deaths in custody are investigated under the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Hishammuddin is lying. Never do they conduct an investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code. I’m shocked and surprised that he could lie in Parliament,” said Surendran.

After the press conference, the two PKR leaders attempted to meet Hishammuddin but having failed to do so, met Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop.

While listening to Sooriakandhi, Abu Seman Yusop stressed several times: “Let me check with the police.”

Surendran said he would organise street demonstrations in front of Bukit Aman soon if Sooriakandhi does not obtain her son’s post-mortem report in a day or two.

K Pragalath| October 31, 2012, Free Malaysia Today